Monthly Archives: October 2020

Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR for CHICO: Battery Replacement

Question When do I need to replace my battery? Answer That’s a smart question.  All batteries wear out and need to be replaced – but some are being replaced before their time.  Look, if your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad battery.  But have your service center test the battery first to see if it’s bad.  The problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that’s not properly charging your battery. But you also need to have your alternator tested.  A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators are actually just fine: the problem is a worn serpentine belt and/or belt tensioner.  If the belt is slipping, it’s not spinning the alternator properly so it can’t fully charge the battery. So, you see a dead battery can be the result of a chain of events: a worn serpentine belt, a worn belt tensioner, a bad alternator or a bad battery.  If you ... read more

Categories:

Batteries

Radiator Fans

CHICO residents who are old enough have probably heard the term “fan belt”. Back in the day the radiator fan in your vehicle was turned by a belt driven by the engine. There are still belt driven fans, although most are now driven by the serpentine belt. But most CHICO vehicles now have electric fans that draw fresh air across the radiator to cool it. As coolant/antifreeze circulates in the cooling system it captures heat from the engine and flows into the radiator. Air cools the radiator and the coolant in it before it sends it back into the engine to pick up some more heat. Now your engine has an ideal temperature range in which it is most efficient: it shouldn't be too hot or too cool. The electric radiator fans help maintain the ideal temperature. A switch mounted in a cooling system passage checks the temperature of the coolant. If the coolant is at the low end of the range, the switch turns off the fan motor. When the coolant rises to a certain temperature ... read more

Categories:

Radiator

Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR for CHICO: Water Pump

Question: My water pump went out and it costs much more to replace than ones I've had replaced in the past. My CHICO technician said it's because of where it's located. Why is that? D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: Some water pumps are driven by the serpentine belt and are bolted on out in the open with the alternator and air compressor and such.  Other water pumps are driven by the timing belt.  These water pumps take a lot of labor to access and replace.  I suspect your current vehicle has a water pump that is driven by the timing belt. Water pumps are fairly simple devices that circulate engine coolant/antifreeze around the engine and out to the radiator.  Like any mechanical device, they eventually wear out.  Although having a cooling system service done on schedule at D AND E AUTO REPAIR will extend the life of your water pump and its seals and gaskets, it will eventually fail and need to be replaced. Those wate ... read more

Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel engines are appearing in more and more vehicles in nearly every category from compact cars to pick-up trucks to high-performance luxury vehicles.  In much of the world, 40% or more of passenger vehicles are equipped with diesels.  North American is beginning to appreciate the power and fuel economy benefits of diesel engines. Many maintenance items for diesel engines are similar to gasoline engines.  One notable difference is the requirement of Diesel Exhaust Fluid, or DEF.  Modern clean-diesel engines burn very lean to reduce soot and other pollutants.  A side effect is the production of nitrogen oxides which are harmful to the environment.  DEF is added to the exhaust and reacts with nitrogen oxide to produce harmless water and nitrogen. Diesel vehicles have a tank to hold the DEF.  A small amount of DEF is metered into the exhaust as the engine runs. When the DEF starts to run low, the DEF tank must be refilled. Because DEF is so importan ... read more

CHICO: Have You Considered Synthetic Oil?

I recently saw an ad for synthetic oil.  I really hadn’t heard about it before, so I asked by service advisor for some background.  Basically, the inside of your engine gets hot because of friction from the moving parts and from burning fuel.  Oil lubricates the moving parts to keep them from getting too hot.  The problem comes when oil turns to sludge, which is kind of a thick jelly.  Sludge clogs up little passages so that the oil can’t protect parts of the engine.  So, the two best ways to prevent sludge build-up is to always change your oil on schedule; and to use synthetic oil. Synthetic oil’s much more resistant to becoming sludge than conventional oil.  My technician says it has the added benefit of lasting longer than conventional oil, so the recommended change interval Can be longer. The thing I think is cool is that synthetic oil is slipperier than conventional oil.  Regular oil molecules are long chains where synth ... read more